Like many people, travel is one of my most favorite things to do. I like to travel abroad, across the U.S., and even sometimes near home. Recently I wanted to do the latter (can't venture too far away when school is in session). I signed on to Hotels.com, my go-to site when I travel and with the $50 gift card I had, booked a room in no time flat. My out-of-pocket cost? $52 total. Now granted, I had that gift card, but for the room we got, in the stellar location we wanted (and got), it would have been a magnificent deal, even without it! The hotel was in a word: all-around-awesome (okay, maybe that is three words, but I hyphenated to make it one). ;)
Using the site is a cinch, simply pull up http://www.hotels.com and fill in the blanks: what city you want to stay in, how many people are in your party, and if they are children, what their ages are at the time of your stay, and how long you will be there. You can sort by star rating, customer rating, ammenities, even landmarks or neighborhoods (very helpful if you are looking to stay in a certain area, but don't know the town...New York City instantly comes to mind for me). I love that the site is so very user-friendly, and that it provides you with a ton of options that meet the criteria you entered for your stay. My two favorite things about the site, are that you get to see previous customers' reviews and photographs. It really gives you an accurate feel for selecting where it is you want to stay.
I chose a Courtyard Marriott for my stay. It is a hotel brand I trust, and the reviews on Hotels.com from previous consumers were very high.
It was a beautiful day when we arrived, even though it was starting to get a bit late, as you can see from the shadow. If you look very carefully on the bottom-right, you can see a van. That was a shuttle vehicle to get people to town, or back and forth to the airport. We didn't need to utilize it for this trip, but I love when hotels have that feature!
Immediately when we got to our room, the restroom was on the left. While this may not be the most important part of a room, it is vital...because if the bathroom is awful, dirty or unpleasant in any way, you aren't going to want to stay. This one was, as can be expected with the Marriott brand, immaculate and though not overly spacious, perfect for our needs (bath, shower, sink, etc.).
The room itself had a modern vibe to it, with a decorated accent wall, built-in lamps (with chargers), and a very comfortable bed.
The sitting area had a loveseat big enough for me and two other people. This was comfy too, and where me and the kids parked it to watch TV (something we don't do often, so to us, it felt like a luxury).
The mini-fridge and extra blanket were both welcome to find in the oversized vanity that was in the room.
The other end of it held desk space, which I deliberately opted not to use. No way was I getting on the computer during my down time. Those days are long gone, I'm very happy to say. :) The WiFi though, was free, and fast (I know because my youngest son used it).
The swimming area was outside (perfectly fine because it's warm year-round here), walled and gated.
The jacuzzi are was too, and let me tell you, taking a dip in there was just what the doctor ordered.
The gym was clean, and had a modern feel to it too. All of the necessities were there for various types of workouts...
and...as usual, my youngest had to test the treadmill (he always does). ;) They were great though because in addition to the big TVs on the wall, these also had individual little ones that you could plug your earbuds into. You could change the channel and find what you wanted to see.
The sitting area in the lobby had a large space for lounging, and a big wall full of books. The only thing missing was a fireplace, but since it was 76-degrees outside, I suppose one really wasn't needed. ;)
You could also watch TV if you wanted, and there were several seating areas available, including individual lounge chairs.
The main lobby had a breakfast bar where you could purchase eats in the a.m.
We made our selections and returned to the room, so we could enjoy it on the spacious patio that connected to our living room. It was the perfect way to start our morning. The only thing that would have made it better, is if we'd have had time for one more dip in the pool (but we did not).
This Courtyard Marriott also had an open business area, complete with a computer and printers (in the background of the photo above),
Rooms to facilitate meetings, receptions and the like,
a public laundry area,
and a store to buy eats/drinks, &
other necessities one might have needed or forgotten to pack. I think every hotel should have one of those, because if they don't...well, you forget to pack something. ;)
It was a wonderful mini-vacation for me and my family, and it was all possible because of the great deal we found on Hotels.com The next time you find yourself planning or about to take a trip (the site is great for either because great values can even be found for impromptu trips you didn't know you were going to take), be sure to utilize all Hotels.com has to offer. We had a wonderful stay, and per the usual, I will be using this site again. Each time I book, it counts on their rewards program towards a free stay at a future date (hurrah, I love free hotel stays!).